iWaste is a WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) management and recycling company working closely with B2B Compliance, along with other SMEs, large enterprises and public sector organisations like the NHS, to collect and treat WEEE.
Here we ask Sam Mountain, operations director at iWaste, a few questions so our members can find out more about how their WEEE collection and treatment operation works.
Q. Hi Sam and thanks for taking the time to tell us more about iWaste. Let’s start by asking how it all started?
A. iWaste was started by myself and Sam Prentice in 2013. We first met whilst working for a waste management company. During this time, we began to recognise a distinct lack of industry-wide customer service. We could see holes in both the logistical delivery of services as well as the overall client experience and it got us thinking about how we could make drastic improvements and drive innovation in an industry stagnating around us.
We seized the opportunity to develop a new offering. At the time, we were in our early 20s so it was quite a bold move and, naturally, a steep learning curve! Steadily the business grew and using a combination of experience, contacts, some fresh thinking and sheer hard work, iWaste went, and continues to go, from strength to strength.
Q. What has iWaste’s journey to the present day been like?
A. Challenging but with plenty of highs! What started as just Sam and myself has grown into a full-time team of 16. Moving to our current HQ meant we could begin to expand operations, gradually, and on our own terms. It allowed us to upscale, or downscale, as required – although we’ve only grown since moving in!
Larger premises gave us the opportunity to become an AATF (Approved Authorised Treatment Facility), giving us the capability to recycle much of the waste ourselves. This has helped to streamline processes and reduce costs by cutting out the middle man. A complete end-to-end service gives our clients peace of mind and a trusted supplier to handle their waste management from start to finish.
Gaining the accreditation gave us the necessary credentials to work with the bigger waste companies, helping to bolster their service. We also work with the UK’s leading compliance schemes to guarantee the safe and secure destruction of electronic waste.
Along the way, we’ve been awarded and shortlisted for both industry and business awards. As our reputation has grown and we’ve secured big contracts, iWaste has been able to grow organically. This has allowed us to add new services and improve our offering so we’re consistently providing an outstanding customer experience.
Our completely organic growth is something we are very proud of. We’ve used our imagination and ‘can do’ attitude to think outside the box rather than seek external investment. An example of this is when we recycled a disused double decker bus and turned it into an office space. It shows we always try to practice what we preach!
Game changing projects have included being the lead contractor responsible for laying the foundations for the UK 5G infrastructure where our team decommissioned the old equipment.
Q. Something a lot of our members always ask is where does the material end up once iWaste is finished with it?
A. One of the unique things about iWaste, compared to our competitors, is that we handle the entire waste management service from end-to-end, from initial enquiry and recycling to providing the certificate of destruction required by law.
Our team will collect the unwanted WEEE from the clients’ premises and deliver it back to our HQ where it will be broken down and sorted by the various components.
The disposal team will then manage the necessary recycling processes. This includes sending the sorted materials to relevant parties ready to be reused. Our current recycling rate is 90-98%.
Q. What do you see as being iWaste’s and your industry’s biggest opportunities and challenges for the next 6 – 12 months?
A. Awareness of recycling and the legal requirement to comply with regulations is impacting our industry, alongside the inevitable increase in electronic and electrical waste as the world continues to keep up with the latest technology.
In recent years, the exposé of so-called ‘electronic graveyards’ in places like Africa have helped to make WEEE a matter of international importance. Businesses and individuals have a legal and moral obligation to dispose of their waste compliantly. Data protection laws and the need for secure destruction of data also create wider opportunities for growth.
Closer to home, Brexit is a potential uncertainly – as no one really knows what the outlook is – especially for the raw materials market.
Q. Can you share any anecdotes about iWaste’s most interesting or significant jobs?
A. One of our most interesting jobs was the decommissioning of nine server racks located on a mountain on the Isle of Mull in Scotland. As well as the obvious travel logistics, which required a team to fly to Glasgow then travel with two vans and a 4×4 to Oban to catch a ferry to Mull, the remote, rural location and weather conditions added to the challenge!
The team had to decommission the racks on the mountain and, due to access, load the materials into the 4×4 for safe transportation down the mountain where they were put in the vans at the bottom. Once all the server racks were removed from the mountain, the team started the long journey back to our site in Hampshire for treatment and recycling.
Thank you Sam for taking the time to talk to us!
Based in Hampshire but with services available nationwide, iWaste are experts in secure data destruction and decommissioning. They have the highest accreditation in the waste industry and work in partnership with many large national waste companies.
Their mission is to divert waste from landfill, reduce clients’ carbon footprint and provide exceptional customer service to make them the UK’s most trusted WEEE management company.